Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Zero Japanese, Trains are Delayed, What to Do?

It's been raining everyday since I got back to Japan last week. Yesterday, the rain was particularly strong. This caused the trains to be delayed and some tracks became impassable.

Now, I don't usually use the train when going to work. In my 3 years here, I've never experienced trains delays. Until yesterday.

Here's a side story: I do some business classes. On Tuesdays since June, I have to take the afternoon trains going to Iwata. So, I had to take the train yesterday. But as I've said, the weather was bad. Some parts of the Tokaido Line became impassable causing train delays, wreaking havoc to people's schedule. Mine included.

If I were in the Philippines, I'd be in fits with this delay. But I'm in Japan so just like all the other commuters outside the train ticket gates I looked like I'm patiently waiting for the trains to be fixed. I didn't show I was anxious since all the other commuters were just calm. I think Japanese people are confident that somehow all will be well.

I know the trains will be fixed in one way or another. But I don't know when and if I can make it in time for my class. The train staff at the ticket gates kept on announcing things about the train. There's also a board near the ticket gates where some announcements were written. The problem is they're all in Japanese and I can't understand whatever they're announcing. My only goal was to get in the trains and go to my class!

If you'll ever be in my shoes, here's what you can do. All these require little Japanese.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Japanese Customs I Can't Apply in the Philippines

Escalator scene shot in Roppongi Hills
Riding the escalator in Japan (Tokyo style)

I've lived in the Philippines for 26 years and only 3 years in Japan. Although I've lived longer in the Philippines, it still takes time for me revert to my ''Filipino ways'' whenever I visit. There are some Japanese customs that I've grown used to.

Here are some of them:

1. Automatically bowing when saying thank you. 

It's well-known that Japanese people bow a lot. Whenever I visit the Philippines, I can't stop my head from bowing whenever I say thank you. My head seemed to have been auto-programmed to bow when my mouth utters ''thank you.'' But instead of bowing back to me, people in the Philippines probably think I'm strange.

2. Flushing the toilet paper in the toilet bowl.

In the Philippines, people throw the toilet paper in a trash bin. When I shared this fact to Japanese and other foreigners, they thought it was gross and unsanitary. They've always flushed the toilet paper in the bowl. If we do this in the Philippines, the bowls will be clogged. Even though I know this could happen, there were some instances when I would flush the toilet paper in the bowl. By the time I would remember I'm in the Philippines,  it would be too late to retrieve the toilet paper.

Friday, July 24, 2015

How to Plan a Wedding While Overseas

photo credits:

School ends today before the summer break. Yay! Yay! And one more yay!
I did a lot of things last summer but this summer, I'll only do one BIG thing. 


I don't why I have to share it here. I just feel like it. 

Anyway, my boyfriend and I have been engaged since late last year. I went to the Philippines last December to start preparing for our wedding. But here's the catch: No one knew about it until last month. (haha!)

We wanted to have a low-key and intimate wedding. Our original plan was to have a small wedding in a secluded island in the Philippines. But, I know how our parents would like to have a traditional wedding. So we compromised and changed our plans. It will be in a more accessible location with more people. But, we still limit the number of people we invited. 

Less than a month and I'll be a missus. (Mixed feelings here!) Aside from a wedding gown, all is set and ready for our big day. I did all the preparations overseas. How did I do that? 

Maybe these things can help other overseas brides: 
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